An ex parte hearing occurs when only one party of a particular case is present. As you might know, there are two parties to a court case that is run by litigation (Petitioner and Respondent/Plaintiff and Defendant, etc.). So, in case of an ex parte hearing, it is either the Petitioner/Plaintiff or the Respondent/Defendant.
While a judge grants a decree for an ex parte hearing, it becomes an ex parte decree. This may seem like a violation of the idea of natural law ‘Audi Alteram Partem‘ which refers to ‘hear the other side’. It is worth noting that the legal systems of most countries aim to make laws while keeping natural law as a base. Hence, it becomes a point of debate whether an ex parte hearing should take place or not. Yet, an ex parte hearing is sometimes inevitable, due to emergency circumstances. So, be ready to look for such opportunities where you can apply for an ex parte relief.
In this article, let’s go through some tips that will help you in winning an ex parte hearing. Whether you are a Petitioner or Respondent, these tips are helpful either way. Also, please note that an ex parte hearing is an order in most cases until the full hearing takes place. So, let’s have a look at the tips now.
Tips to Win an Ex Parte Hearing:
1. Submit a comprehensive and clear ex parte application. Do not forget to add all the relevant documents. The court may reject your application if some documents are missing or the language is not clear.
2. Find out 2-3 foolproof reasons why the order should be in your favor (depending on the cause of action). For ex: if the case is about custody of a child, mention a few very strong reasons why the child is better with you. Also mention why you need an ex parte order (could be because of safety concerns of the child).
3. If the other party is harassing you or forcing you, provide the court with the records. This way you are more likely to win an ex parte hearing.
4. Be prepared for a full hearing. Only because you may win an ex parte hearing, you should not stop preparing for a full hearing. Gather more evidence and records in the meantime. This way, even if the court rejects your application, you can win later.
5. Quite often, you may also need to present your ex parte application along with submitting it. In such a case, do not forget to prepare court briefs so that you appear well prepared. Always hire a lawyer who can help you with your briefs as well and drills you before appearing in the court.
So, these were some helpful tips to win an ex parte hearing. Apart from following these, you should also determine beforehand whether you need it. An ex parte hearing as a relief or injunction is good, but would not be appropriate if you want a final relief. Although non-appearance and misconduct of the other party may benefit you, prepare for the hearing.
Note: This is not a piece of legal advice. Always consult your lawyer.